[Andbank (Bahamas) Limited](http://www.bfsb-bahamas.com/providers.php?cmd=view&id=725&pre=y) yesterday opened a two-day meeting for Global Managing Directors at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island, with over 30 of its top executives here discussing global trends, strategies and initiatives to position it as a leading private bank across the globe.
Andbank’s global chief executive Ricard Tubau expressed optimism about the institution’s business in The Bahamas. He said, *“We are optimistic here. That is the reason why we are having the meeting in The Bahamas. We are living in moments of tectonic shifting where you have challenges but, at the same time, opportunities.”* In particular, the Executive spoke about opportunities for his group in connecting The Bahamas with Latin America, a region where Andbank has 60% of its employees. *“We truly believe that this connection is going to happen and that we will be capable of taking off with that,*” he said. That being said, Mr. Tubau also spoke to the challenges being faced by the industry in light of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) – as well as increased costs of doing business – with predictions that there could be a contraction in the number of industry players. He felt institutional mergers will happen as firms seek to acquire scale and maintain profitability. He compared the loss of private banks in Switzerland from 170 to 130 with the present count of over 200 still in this jurisdiction.
Manel Martinez, CEO of Andbank (Bahamas) said the Bahamian financial services industry needs to continue efforts to differentiate itself from its competitors. *“As an industry we need to up our game, offer good quality service and differentiate ourselves by the service provided; this can be the deciding factor in our future,”* Mr Martinez said. He felt this is very doable because of the excellence of the professional community in the jurisdiction. He also spoke to the development of new products within the industry and finding creative ways to attract investors, complimenting the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the Government on its ongoing initiatives in these areas. *“These initiatives are key to the future of the financial services industry in The Bahamas,”* he said.
Mr. Martinez said Andbank is committed to promoting The Bahamas, a beautiful country that has a lot to offer to high net worth individuals, including residency. He added that The Bahamas also has to fight as a jurisdiction to get a level playing field – and avoid being positioned in a group that has disadvantages. *“We have to fight for bilateral agreements, and it’s very important that The Bahamas fights hard. We have to play to our strengths as a country.“*
Andbank are private bankers with more than 80 years’ experience, a presence on two continents, and one of the highest solvency ratios in the industry.